I’ve been researching contemporary jazz in the 80s and 90s and came across this great 1983 quote from Herbie Hancock:
I don’t mind being classified as a jazz artist, but I do mind being restricted to being a jazz artist. My foundation has been in jazz, though I didn’t really start out that way. I started in classical music, but my formative years were in jazz, and it makes a great foundation.
This is Wayne Shorter on jazz:
“If you’re playing something that’s supposed to sound like it’s supposed to be . . . and you’re perfecting this mandatory expression with mandates all around it, it’s nothing more than a statue,” says Shorter. “Like polishing a statue.”
It’s further pinpoints a similar point Wayne made earlier about jazz moving forward. The quote is from a Boston.com article about Wayne’s 75th Birthday Celebration. Also in the article: Wayne meets William Shatner (it’s Shatcember, you know)!
When Javon Jackson played in St. Louis earlier this year, STLToday.com posted an interview with him. It’s not online anymore but I did archive the quote I liked best. With the release of his new recording, Once Upon A Melody, earlier this month, I thought I’d post this.
“Some people don’t think what I’m doing is jazz,” Jackson says. “My answer to that is there is nothing that is whole anymore in jazz, or in any style of music. Can you point to Duke Ellington or Charlie Parker or fusion and say that is exactly what jazz is? No.
“Jazz has always incorporated elements of blues and other musical styles as it’s evolved. At the end of the day, what’s important for me is to present music that’s honest, and that helps me grow. I don’t need anyone else’s opinion to justify my music. That’s another thing I learned along the way, starting with my time with Art Blakey.”
Javon Jackson – Once Upon A Melody
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I read a quote from Joshua Redman in a recent Borders magazine. I thought it was appropriate for the first entry at this site.
“Jazz is going in all different directions now, and most are wonderful. There are great musicians with really original things to say. The music is in a really wonderful, creative time. Jazz is mixing with other forms of music, but there is no one next step.
We have to stop seeing the development of jazz – or the development of any art – in this kind of linear progression. Each step is a little bit higher than the one before. There’s always a next obvious step, which represents obvious progress and linear evolution from what came before. That’s a very modernist conception and it’s worked for a long time. But I think this is more of a postmodern age. It’s less about the next big thing or the next logical extension of what’s happening. It’s more about all these different possible creative avenues that are being explored.”
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